Shirley Bean started in the community and technical college system in 1990 as a work-study student in
Purchasing at South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC). She has worked at Pierce College and Highline
Community College in budget, finance and facilities. She currently works at Highline Community
College as Director of Finance and Auxiliary Services. Shirley has an associate's degree from SPSCC,
a bachelor's degree from The Evergreen State College and a Master's degree from Chapman University.
She hopes to obtain a position as a Vice-President of Administrative Services.
Greg R. Gillespie
Since August 2010, Greg has served as Vice President for Instruction and Student Services at Yavapai
College in Prescott, AZ.
Greg obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from Washington State University. He attended graduate school at North
Dakota State University and received Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Agronomy.
Kathy Goebel joins WELA as the Associate Director at the State Board for Community and Technical
Colleges (SBCTC). Her background includes teaching experience and administrative positions at
Edmonds Community College and Centralia College in basic skills, workforce education and student
services serving diverse student populations. She has broad experience working with other
public agencies, the Washington State Legislature, and community partners. She will explore
broadening her leadership capabilities and role within the community and technical college system.
Kathy holds a Masters in Education and a BA in special education.
Patty James joined WELA to learn more about Washington policy-making; the interdependencies of the
CTC system boards, commissions, and councils; and how those interactions facilitate improving student
success. Her career path includes many years at the Ohio Board of Regents culminating as Director
of Information Systems and Research before moving to Washington State in 1999.
Patty was promoted to Associate Vice President for Effectiveness and Strategic Planning at Bellevue College in 2012. She is interested in a senior-level
position within an integrated unit responsible for institutional effectiveness, research, and
planning that would utilize her strengths in higher education policy, research and analysis, and
data management to inform evidence-based decision making. Patty completed her graduate work at the
Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs.
Marci Myer is Dean of Student Development Services at North Seattle Community College which she joined in 1998.
She has successfully held responsible positions in student services at two and four year colleges and universities in
Washington and North Dakota. Marci brings a breadth of expertise in student services areas. With more than 30 years
of higher education experience, she has provided effective leadership for program development and delivery.
Marci holds a B.S. and M.S. in Education.
Marian Paananen joined WELA as the Director of Finance at Edmonds Community College, where she has
served in progressively more responsible positions over the course of her career. She is interested in
moving up to a Vice President of Administrative Services position, and brings a wealth of system
knowledge from her years of working in the public sector of higher education.
Marian holds a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and Business Administration.
Deborah Ranniger, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of Etta Projects where she works to advance strategic planning, fund and
organizational growth. Etta Projects works to create sustainable, attainable results by working with communities in South
America to implement health, sanitation and water projects. In her previous positions she worked at Clover Park Technical
College and also at Renton Technical College first as Executive Director of the Foundation and Resource Development and more
recently as Vice President for Institutional Advancement. Her passion for education and community service drives her
commitment to help others to realize create a better future.
Larry Ruddell is the Director of Basic Education at Clark College. Throughout a career in higher education that began in 1985, at the Institute for Extended Learning at the Community Colleges of Spokane and continued at Wenatchee Valley College, Larry has demonstrated a talent for developing unique and innovative programs that provide access to college education for disadvantaged populations of students. Larry holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and a Master of Education degree in Guidance and Counseling.
Steve Ward has served as the Vice President of Finance and Administration at Centralia College since
1993. He oversees finances, budgets, technology, physical plant, capital projects, institutional research,
auxiliary enterprises, and business functions. In 2002 he became Executive Director of the
Centralia College Foundation where he presides over fundraising, alumni, planned giving, and capital
Steve has also supervised the college's public relations and human resource operations and has been the
lead negotiator for faculty and classified union contracts. Prior to his time at Centralia College,
Steve served at Northern Arizona University and the University of Puget Sound, as a certified public
accountant, and with the Washington State Auditors Office.
Steve received his AA degree from Centralia College, BA in economics from St. Martins University,
and M.P.A. from The Evergreen State College.
Steve and his wife Kathleen live in Lewis County with their children Ian and Meghan.
In his spare time he enjoys alpine and backcountry skiing, mountain biking and trail building.